Dr. Eric Reiman shareshis knowledge and explains if Alzheimer's disease is genetic.
Read the full transcript »
We know about 200 rare misspellings of three genes that cause certain families to develop Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 60. Typically, if they have one of these genes, and they have a 50% chance of inheriting it from an affected parent who has this gene, they will almost certainly develop Alzheimer’s disease before the age of 60. These are rare genes, and they are found so far in about 400 known families. In addition, there is a much more common susceptibility gene known as APOE E4, which is found in one out of four of us or a third of us who have an immediate family member. Unlike those Alzheimer’s causing genes that I mentioned that caused some people to develop Alzheimer’s before the age of 60. This gene increases a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s later in life but doesn’t say was a certainty whether or when they might develop symptoms.